Fundraising charities are optimistic about the future

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Charities are predicting a growth in income for future years

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8th May 2019 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

Fundraising charities are optimistic about their long-term future despite ongoing economic uncertainty.

The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) and accounting firm PwC has published a major report which looks at the current priorities and decisions that charities are taking around their fundraising activities.

Based on a survey of over 100 fundraising charities of different sizes from throughout the UK, the Fundraising for Impact study explores fundraising income and costs, how charities are investing in fundraising, key fundraising challenges and their views about fundraising in the future.

It shows that charities are concerned about future economic uncertainty and the disposable income of donors, and continue to experience rising demand for services.

Authors say that despite the pressure on charities, including increased costs in compliance, workforce and fundraising activity, it is clear that they are adapting and proactively taking control through innovation and new approaches to put in place strong foundations for future success.

Overall, charities are predicting a growth in income for future years. The majority of respondents predicted growth of at least 10% in most areas of voluntary income.

Improving the experience of current supporters is the number one current area of focus for charities (63%); while the most commonly reported area of focus for the future is to find new supporters (74%).

Charities have experienced rising costs over recent years – 86% of respondents reported a significant increase in costs of compliance, alongside increases in workforce, fundraising activity, and systems and technology.

Meanwhile, three quarters of respondents (73%) said their charity’s investment in generating voluntary income was a priority, with digital engagement being the most likely area of predicted increased donations over the next three years.

Peter Lewis, chief executive of the IoF, said: “Fundraisers know that the success of fundraising goes beyond the pound that is donated – it is about the relationships that are created between the cause, the charity and supporters that will deliver long-term success.

“While increased costs and economic uncertainty lead to a challenging environment, I’m  pleased to see that more charities are putting in place strong foundations and building blocks that will deliver for their causes into the future.”

Aidan Sutton, partner and head of charities at PwC, added: “I’m heartened by the sense of positivity and optimism from those who responded to our survey. Improving the experience of existing supporters and attracting new ones are, quite rightly, seen as key priorities – and building deep, authentic relationships will be at the heart of this.

“Focusing on creating a great supporter experience means a shift in mindset away from a traditional measure of financial return on investment and towards a return on experience.”

However, the confidence shown in the report can be set aside continuing concerns over a decline in giving, which has been shown up by research from the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).

It shows that the proportion of UK public who gave money direct to charity in 2018 dropped to 57%, compared with 60% the previous year and 61% in 2016.

CAF said there has been a clear downward trend over the three years, a period during which the charity sector was rocked by scandals.

Those giving cash or sponsoring someone fell to 65%, compared with 67% in 2017 and 69% the year before.